Another false alarm at Covent Garden

Another false alarm at Covent Garden


norman lebrecht

March 01, 2018

Just before Christmas, the audience for Rigoletto were rushed out of the Royal Opera House on the very last chord of Rigoletto, due to what was announced as a fire emergency and turned ot to be a bomb scare.

Earlier last year, in August, the area around the ROH was put on lockdown while a suspicious package was identified.

This week, on Tuesday morning, the ROH was evacuated during rehearsal. Another bomb scare.

Either the threat level has significantly increased, or someone in security is a bit hypersensitive.



  • Delphine1962 says:

    I suppose it is much better to be over-sensitive than not vigilant enough, although if the strange package turned out to be poor Gilda in the sack, I’m sure the audience would have every right to feel a bit peeved.

    • Una says:

      At the height of the IRA there was none of this nonsense in London. Unlike any other country, we have very understated security and it is very vigilant but not the neurotic type as you see in other countries. But it is a bit strange that there has been that many in a row and given the high level of security we have, would think it’s a bit hypersensitive as it’s not worth someone’s job. Americans I know would have a different view on here but as a Londoner, security needs to get a fine balance between what is or what may not be.

      • Bab says:

        ENO Tosca late 70′
        1975-6 The public has been evacuated due to a bomb scare. Nothing was found, we returned
        to the first act:
        At last in safety!
        A huge laughter followed

  • anon says:

    “….what was announced as a fire emergency and turned out to be a bomb scare”

    Now how ethical was that to lie to your audience? Fires and bombs pose different threats and are equally deadly in different ways: looking out for smoke is different from looking out for suspects strapped with bombs.

    “…or someone in security is a bit hypersensitive”

    Not in London. Either for fires or for bombs.